Tuesday, 20 June 2017

'Ancient Landscapes: New Lines' Exhibition 23rd June - 2nd September 2017

Ancient Landscapes: New Lines

The Wiltshire landscape that surrounds their studios is the inspiration for Melissa Cole‘s steel sculptures and Jonathan Mansfield‘s paintings. Considering the contemporary geography in relation to ancient geology, the artists’ works are exhibited alongside Pitt Rivers Museum finds from excavation sites – objects held in the Salisbury Museum Pitt Rivers collection.

23 June – 2 September 2017, The Pound, Pound Pill, Corsham, Wiltshire SN13 9HX. www.poundarts.org.uk
#NewLinesArt #landscape #sculpture

I will be showing with Jonathan Mansfield for the first time space at The Pound Arts Centre in Corsham, Wiltshire.
Landscape by Jonathan Mansfield
As artists living within a few miles of each others studios we have been brought together for this exhibition by Fiona Cassidy, curator at The Pound and we will present our individual experiences of journeying, sensing and interpreting the local landscapes through evocative sculptures and vibrant paintings. 

This exhibition explores new ways of presenting the physical environment and, by way of contrast and similarity, includes topographical models and original artefacts on loan from The Salisbury Museums Pitt Rivers collection.

This has been an opportunity for me to work on new landscape pieces as described in my previous blog and also experiment with different finishes as a direct result of my exposure to Jon's brilliantly vibrant, colourful paintings.

We both start our work directly in the landscape, Jon works out in the field, taking his canvas paints etc. with him, working quickly and the dynamic outdoors nature of this technique is captured in the finished works.  I travel through the landscape, slowly mostly on foot, bike or horseback and rely heavily on memory of motion for my work.  I also sketch and photograph but mostly its the remembering of the space and motion through it that informs the finished pieces.

You can read more about Jon's work on his blog here:

Note on new sculptural work at The Pound Arts, Corsham. June 2017

Ancient Landscapes; New Lines
Pound Arts
Pound Pill, Corsham, Wiltshire. SN13 9HX

Notes on my work

For anyone that has followed the progress of my sculptural work, there are developments afoot.

The Landscape NH series of modular sculptures are based on familiar landscapes around Puthall Farm, towards Axford, Ramsbury and Mildenhall which I have walked, cycled and ridden for the last fifteen years.  The shapes and formations of the landscape and field boundaries; marks made by man on the land, have informed the lines and contours of the works as I have remembered them from repetitive journeys.  Familiar motifs of woodland peaks catching the sun, holloways and chalk pits are all represented in these works which are reflections on a journey across a remembered space.

The Lifeline sculptures started from a point of recognition of the historical and archeological features that surround Marlborough, Wiltshire. The nails mark those specific points of a journey on a to-scale map.  This was the beginning of the journeys and landscapes work and is for me, a significant and important move towards a new subject and style.

The new work, Lifeline Part 2A and 2B are drawings in forged steel of a part of the journey to my new home in the Pewsey Vale.  Repetition of a journey is backed up by sketching and photography enabling me to capture the essence of the space in which I am physically moving.  These pieces are made with the height of the hills to scale and may be recognizable to some who are familiar with that landscape.

The making process of the Lifeline works is integral to the work. Hot-forged lines, worked in three dimensions with changing sections of steel give the sensation of the movement through the landscape.  The way in which hedges squeeze us tight and landscape features and immovable boundaries make us move or make our eye follow a path.  The delicate and spindly nature of the new work is intentional, it reminds me of the fragility of the world we live in. 

The Journey pieces follow the paths and routes that I take regularly on foot, bike or horseback and are often circuitous.  The process of forging the route allows me to get the sensation of moving though the landscape.  These works are also to scale and made from remembered motion. 

 While we have fantastic mapping and visual technological aids to help us map our progress though the landscape, I find that it is my physical journey that best informs my work so rely on my memory of a journey to make these works. 

The way in which I work is following a formula of drawing and measuring, forging then forming.  The title numbers are a reference to the circumference of the work and each one is unique, a rarity it seems in the sculpture world of editions.

I am looking forward to finding a client who wants to commission me to make their landscape in either the forged variation of Lifeline or formed like the larger Landscape pieces.  If you would like to discuss this option please get in touch with me.

I am fortunate enough to live and travel across the most stunning landscape so close to my home, I want to say look at this natural resource all around us – don’t look through little screens and camera viewers – look, feel and sense the shapes, lines, places, paths, don’t take it for granted, it is so special.